It is absolutely baffling that any government would feel entitled to illegalize prostitution, particularly in a time when so many nations are suffering huge losses to grey- and black-market economies.
I can find no basis in the law for this, other than the attempted legislation of morality, and as the great, departed Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau once said, “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.”
Often unconsidered is that most of the places with enforced laws prohibiting the world’s original sales position (horizontal) have retained these laws from a time when the non-professional sexual affairs of common citizens were also subject to public legal scrutiny.
Ah, the good old days, when we were safe from streetwalkers, and consensual oral or anal sex among married couples, and manual stimulation in the privacy of our own homes. A simpler time, when gay people could be brought to trial for the heinous offence of enjoying each other’s company in the sack.
We cannot have it both ways. Either the sexual choices of consenting adults are none of the government’s business, or they are. If they are, any one of us is liable to find a law on the books sooner or later that will seriously interfere with our Saturday nights whether we’re married or single, amateur or pro.
It’s too easy to look at one small facet of a much larger and more complicated system, and make our decisions in self-righteous emotional haste. Reason must dictate which rights we are willing to concede, and inform us of the hushed package deal that exists in fine print as any rights are denied.
A woman’s body is entirely her own, and what she does with it, no business but hers, whether for business of otherwise. Prostitution, if she chooses to embark upon it, is a right she already has. The illusion ithat this isn’t so is owed to a system governed by a small and fearful minority who are now, as ever, desperately grasping for every last window into behavioural dictation.
The law cannot stop, or even slow the business of prostitution, but when improperly applied, as it has been, it can unjustly endanger and marginalize both provider and client. If we’re sadly ambivalent about the lives of those we do not understand, we can at least be certain that interference in people’s sexual lives will not end with the red light district.